Pop on loss to Warriors: ‘If you shoot 4 for 33 from three, your defense better be pretty perfect’

The Spurs started slowly against the Warriors on Wednesday night and could not recover. San Antonio gave up 36 points and trailed by 12 after one quarter. The Spurs would fall behind by as many as 22 points in the first half and ultimately would lose on the road to Golden State 121-99.

San Antonio struggled with their shooting against the Warriors. They finished the game shooting 37% from the field, including 4/33 from three-point range. Conversely, their defense was not good. They allowed the Warriors to shoot 50% from the field and allowed Steph Curry to score 20 of his game-high 26 points in the first half. 

“I thought we had a bad start,” Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said after the game. “They jumped on us at the beginning of game for whatever reasons, and we never got back. If you shoot 4 for 33 from three, your defense better be pretty perfect, and it wasn’t, but it’s gonna happen, nobody is going to go undefeated. Hopefully, we learned some things tonight and just keep at it.”

Dejounte Murray, who led San Antonio with 22 points, agreed with Popovich; the Spurs were hit hard early and were not able to respond.

“We came out in the first half and just got punched in the face and didn’t know how to get back up as a whole—not making shots don’t make it better,” Murray said. “Halftime, we tried to come out and fight and fight. They’re the Warriors, and they kept fighting, kept fighting, and we just couldn’t get over that hump.”

After playing seven of their last nine game on the road, the Spurs will play nine of their next eleven at home, but with no fans allowed in the building, Popovich thinks home-court advantage is not the same. 

“It’s pretty even-steven,” he said. “I think I mentioned that to you guys before. There’s not much of a home-court advantage, I don’t think.”

While home-court advantage may not be the same, getting home and not traveling can’t hurt, and based on the way they shot the ball on Wednesday night, maybe San Antonio could use some time off the road and could benefit from some home cooking.

Patty Mills: ‘He(DeRozan), obviously, loves the big moments’

Saturday night’s road victory for the Spurs(5-4) was all about DeMar DeRozan. The 12-year veteran scored 13 of his game and season-high 38 points in the 4th quarter and overtime, and ultimately, the Spurs would defeat Minnesota(2-7) 125-122 in overtime. The Spurs play Minnesota again on Sunday night

“DeMar won the game for us,” Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said after the game. “He and Patty(Mills) playing out there with their pick-and-roll created a lot of opportunities. DeMar was the guy.”

Spurs’ Dejounte Murray, who scored 22 points against Minnesota, added this on DeRozan: “He’s a beast. That’s DeMar. Definitely, not the 82nd(ESPN’s list of best players in league) best player in the NBA. Damn sure, tell you that. That’s DeMar; we believe in him. We are really, really confident in him. We got the win; that’s all that matters.”

Late in games, DeRozan is one of the go-to guys for the Spurs, and according to him, it’s his job to make things happen for San Antonio down the stretch.

“It’s a mindset that I have, especially late in games when games are close,” he said. “I feel like It’s imperative; it’s my job to go out there and make something happen and pull out a win.”

Patty Mills, another 12-year veteran, who scored 21 points off the bench against Minnesota, added this about DeRozan: “He(DeRozan), obviously, loves the big moments, and loves to makes plays, loves to make big plays. He lives for those moments.’

San Antonio is 3-0 on their current five-game road trip, including wins over the Clippers and Lakers, and the veterans are leading the way. Patty Mills led the Spurs with 27 points in the team’s win over the Clippers, and LaMarcus Aldridge, a 15-year veteran, led the team with 28 points in San Antonio’s win over the Lakers, and of course, DeRozan’s big-time effort against Minnesota on Saturday night. 

According to Mills, the Spurs’ leaders are showing the young guys what it takes to close out games.

“Not being rattled in those big moments. I think that’s huge,” Mills said. “In terms of leadership and actions. The conversations that we’re having on the side, making sure the young boys understand what we’re doing while we are doing it. Helping them here and there have been good. The actions that we’re showing on the court, knowing who the leaders are and how to go about certain situations, and that helps young guys learn on the fly as well.”

Getting Aldridge back, who missed the team’s winless three-game homestand, helps. Now, after nine games, the Spurs are over .500 and playing some terrific basketball, and the veterans are leading the way.

Murray, Spurs agree to contract extension

The San Antonio Spurs and Dejounte Murray have agreed on a contract extension, the team announced today.

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, it’s four-year, $64 million contract.

Murray became the youngest player in NBA history to make an All-Defensive Team in his last season, being named to the 2018 All-Defensive Second Team. That year he was the only player in the NBA under 6-6 to record at least 400 rebounds, 90 steals and 30 blocks. Murray also set a Spurs record for most total rebounds in a single season by a point guard with 459 rebounds, passing the franchise’s previous high of 378 by Johnny Moore in 1984-85.

 Starting 48 of his 81 appearances in 2017-18, Murray averaged 8.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.20 steals in 21.5 minutes for the Silver and Black. He is one of four players in Spurs history to record a double-double in the Playoffs as a rookie and has appeared in a total of 119 career games for San Antonio.

Murray is set to play his third season with the Spurs after missing all of last year due to injury. The University of Washington product was originally selected by San Antonio in the first round of the 2016 NBA Draft (29th overall).

Spurs’ Dejounte Murray tears right ACL

According to the San Antonio Spurs, third-year guard Dejounte Murray underwent an MRI examination this morning in San Antonio that revealed he has a torn right anterior cruciate ligament.

The injury occurred at the 2:47 mark of the second quarter of yesterday’s Spurs-Rockets preseason game. A timeline for his return will be determined at a later date, but Murray is likely out for the year.

It has been a tough week for the Spurs. On Saturday, San Antonio announced that rookie G Lonnie Walker tore his right medial meniscus. According to ESPN, Walker is expected to miss 6-8 weeks.

Murray, 22, was expected to play a big role with the Spurs this season; he averaged 8.1 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game last season with San Antonio.

Spurs exercise team option on Murray, Poeltl, White

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that they have exercised their fourth-year team option on guard Dejounte Murray and center Jakob Poeltl for the 2019-20 season. In addition, the Spurs have exercised their third-year option on guard Derrick White for the 2019-20 season.

Murray is entering his third season with the Spurs after being selected by San Antonio in the first round of the 2016 NBA Draft (29th overall). Last year, Murray was named to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team, becoming the youngest player in NBA history to be named to an All-Defensive Team. He ended the season with 459 rebounds, setting the record for most total rebounds in a single season by a point guard in Spurs history passing the previous mark of 378 by Johnny Moore in 1984-85. The former Washington Husky has appeared in 119 career NBA games, averaging 6.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 17.4 minutes.

Poeltl is in his first season with the Silver and Black after being acquired from the Toronto Raptors on July 18. Last season, Poeltl averaged 6.9 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.22 blocks in 18.6 minutes. Selected by the Raptors with the ninth overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, the 7-0, 230-pound center has appeared in 136 games in his two-year NBA career, averaging 5.4 points and 4.1 rebounds in 15.8 minutes. Poeltl holds a career field goal percentage of .641 (320-499), which ranks fifth in the NBA among all players with at least 300 field goals made in the last two seasons.

White appeared in 17 games during his rookie season with the Spurs, averaging 3.2 points and 1.5 rebounds in 8.2 minutes. The former Colorado Buffalo helped lead the Austin Spurs to the 2018 G League Championship, averaging 24.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.80 steals in 32.8 minutes in the G League Playoffs. He appeared in 24 regular season games for Austin, averaging 20.1 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.29 steals and 1.17 blocks in 28.2 minutes. White was drafted by the Spurs with the 29th overall pick in the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft.